Arhat Ajita
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 3
Display 5

ABS 085

 Code: ABS 085

  Country: Tibet or China


  Date: 1400 - 1500

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 4.1 x 5.4 x 3.1

  Materials: Fine-grained brownish stone

Arhat Ajita

Seated legs crossed in meditation with his shoes placed before him, this old monk keeps his hands joined in his lap in contemplation. Clad in thick monastic robes, he wears a beard and has long eyebrows falling on his cheeks giving him a typical Chinese appearance, resembling the Immortals revered by the Taoists. This identifies him as Ajita, one of the sixteen arhats, the first disciples of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. The cult of arhats, or Lohan in Chinese, was imported in Tibet through China, hence their pronounced Chinese style.

Unlike the bodhisattvas who pledged to reach perfect Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings, the arhats form a category of enlightened disciples who reached spiritual liberation by listening and applying the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni. This statue possibly belonged to a set of sixteen or eighteen as the arhats are often represented with two assistants.